Thursday, May 15, 2008


First there’s the morning sickness, which happens to occur at all times of the day. Next it’s weird food cravings, followed by mood swings, swollen feet and frequent trips to the bathroom. Being with child takes a toll on any woman’s body, and the nine-month process isn’t all smiles and good times. The last thing an expectant mom wants to worry about is her skin.

But hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, dietary modifications and the new responsibility of caring for a baby can have a significant effect on your skin, says New York City dermatologist, Andrea Lynn Cambio, M.D. Fortunately, though, there are ways expectant moms can prepare and maintain their skin for a truly healthy, glowing complexion.

Out with the old, in with the new. It’s time to re-evaluate your skin care stash: As a mom-to-be, take a look at all your products and decide whether they a) contain ingredients that are safe during pregnancy and b) are still ideal for your changing skin. Apply a simple rule of thumb, “If there’s any doubt, throw it out.” It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor about what products and ingredients are safe for your skin and your baby.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Pregnant skin has a tendency to become dry and itchy, so moisturizing is essential. Avoid using regular soap, which strips skin’s natural oils. Also, switch to a moisturizing body wash. As relaxing as it may be, spending too much time in the bath or shower isn’t healthy for your skin, either; prolonged contact with water actually dehydrates the skin, making it look dull.

Easy on the sun. Because pregnant skin is also photosensitive skin (sensitive to sun), always make sure to wear sunscreen on all exposed areas anytime you’re going outdoors. Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Many moms-to-be also suffer from a common skin condition known as melasma, chloasma or the "mask of pregnancy," where discolored patches appear on the skin. While this overproduction of melanin is benign, melasma's cosmetic appearance can be very troubling for any woman.

Using sunscreen is your best bet for avoiding melasma. Try Belli Anti Chloasma Facial Sunscreen SPF 25 for both UVA and UVB protection.
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In addition dermatologist Sumayah Jamal, M.D., Ph.D., tells WebMD, "You can use azelaic acid, which is good for pigment, as well as any topical vitamin C product, which helps suppress pigment naturally." WebMD also suggests, when all else fails, use foundation or concealer.

During pregnancy, your skin type also alters: The face tends to get oilier than the rest of the body so following a good cleansing routine is important. Women with naturally oily skin should use water-based moisturizers and cleansers, whereas women with dry skin should use oil-based products. If you're particularly prone to acne, try Belli Acne Clearing Facial Wash.

Stretched to the max. More than 90 percent of women will get these red or purple bands on their abdomens and sometimes on the breasts and thighs during the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy. Even though most of the marks fade over time, they can still be a nuisance. Free Shipping

Massaging your tummy with gel or lotion will keep your stretching skin elastic, supple and less prone to the effects of stretch marks. Creams with green tea or glycolic acid are the most effective, dermatologist Ken Beer, M.D., tells WebMD. Also, many moms swear by cocoa butter.

Pamper yourself. With all those physical changes coupled with carrying extra weight, you're bound to feel pressure on your legs and feet. Treat yourself with a soothing foot and leg massage to alleviate the pain of swollen limbs. Products such as Belli Pregnancy Gift Box will work wonders.

Drink water. Constantly drinking water will not only keep your body hydrated, but it will positively affect the tone of your skin. Water cleanses the body and flushes out the toxins.

Get plenty of sleep. People who get a full night’s rest appear happier and healthier, and the same goes for expectant moms. Plus pregnant women get tired easily, so sleep becomes a necessity. Take naps frequently to conserve your strength. You’ll feel better and when your body is fully rested, so is your mind.

Work on that smile. Dental care isn’t only important to your health; it’s also vital to your baby’s well-being. Even skipping one night of brushing or flossing, according to American Baby, can trigger a dangerous domino effect with swollen or bleeding gums, gum disease and premature birth: Not brushing or flossing once can turn into repeated avoidance, which can contribute to gum disease; one study found women with gum disease were at an increased risk — four to seven times — for delivering their babies prematurely.

To maintain a healthy smile, the article suggests: At a minimum of two to three times per day, brush and floss; schedule a dental checkup during your second trimester, but don’t hesitate to make additional appointments if necessary; and take in tons of vitamin C from your diet.

And importantly, don’t forget to smile! Bringing a child into the world is an amazing experience, so smile and enjoy your part in creating life.



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